Broncos Host Dons in Bay Area WCC Battle: Game Preview


Dec 29, 2012; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Rasheed Sulaimon (14) and forward Josh Hairston (15) defend against Santa Clara Broncos guard Kevin Foster (21) during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

The Santa Clara Broncos host the USF Dons tonight in a bay area battle between two West Coast Conference rivals.  The Broncos (11 – 3) return to the Leavey Center fresh off a hotly contested loss to top-ranked Duke 90 – 77 in Durham, NC on December 29.  The Dons (7 – 6) most recently defeated Dominican Cal 93 – 76 in San Francisco, CA also on December 29.

The Broncos are led by senior sharpshooter Kevin Foster (18.9 points per game), including 29 points against the Duke Blue Devils.  Marc Trasolini provides a scoring presence inside (15.9 ppg), while Evan Roquemore adds 14.0 ppg from the perimeter.  Raymond Cowels III chips in 8.6 ppg for the Broncos.

Trasolini leads the Broncos on the boards, grabbing 7.6 rebounds per game, while reserve forward Yannick Atanga averages 4.5 rpg, and Roquemore chips in 3.9 rpg.  Roquemore and Foster lead the Broncos in assists with 6.14 assists per game and 4.57 apg, respectively.

Santa Clara scores 78.7 ppg, while allowing opponents 65.8 ppg.  The Broncos shoot 45.2% from the field, 36.2% behind the 3-point line, and 72.7% from the free throw line.  The Broncos have a slight rebounding edge over opponents of 35.1 to 34.9 rpg.

USF is led in scoring by the duo of juniors Cole Dickerson and De’End Parker with averages of 15.4 ppg and 15.0 ppg, respectively.  Dickerson also leads USF in rebounding at 11.9 rpg.  Cody Doolin chips in 11.9 ppg, but more importantly, leads the Dons in assists at a 6.2 apg clip.  Tim Derksen adds 4.5 rpg, with Parker and Doolin grabbing 3.5 rpg each.

USF scores 69.9 ppg, while allowing opponents 66.6 ppg.  The Dons shoot 45.3% from the field, 38.8% behind the 3-point arc, and 64.2% from the charity stripe.  USF out-rebounds opponents 35.4 to 32.5 rpg.

The Broncos prefer an uptempo pace, with Roquemore looking to penetrate and dishing to Foster for a perimeter jumper, or finding Trasolini in the paint for a post move or a mid-range jumper.  Roquemore is also equally adept at finishing at the rim and pulling up for a jump shot.

Similarly, Doolin’s bread and butter is penetration and finishing or dishing to open teammates.

Despite featuring inside/outside prolific scorers Dickerson and Parker from USF, and Trasolini and Foster from SCU, the outcome may come down to the battle of the point guards–Doolin for USF and Roquemore for SCU.  Both create offense for their teammates via dribble penetration, so whichever defense can prevent the dribble drive will probably win the game.

Tip off is 7 pm Pacific time.